Once again, a top Republican politician – this time Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal attorney – has taken a broadside from the actor of Borat notoriety, Sacha Baron Cohen, and with presidential elections just days away.
The former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, has certainly made better judgment calls in his career than the one he made on July 7 of this year.
Following a spoof interview with Maria Bakalova, a Bulgarian actress who plays a conservative journalist in the latest instalment of Baron Cohen’s ‘Borat’ series, Bakalova uses her feminine charms to lure Giuliani into a hotel room where he is briefly filmed with his hand down his pants while prostrate on a bed. Not the best visuals to say the least. At this point, Borat enters the scene, screaming: “She’s 15. She’s too old for you.” (the actress is 24 years old, but never mind). Giuliani, meanwhile, explained that he was merely caught in the act of removing the microphone that he had used to conduct the interview.
The Giuliani scene in Borat is a huge nothing. Those who lied about it should be sued. He was tucking in his shirt. Even if he wasn’t, he’s an unmarried man invited to a grown woman’s bedroom. There is no scandal here at all. You shameless lying scumbags
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) October 23, 2020
If Cohen’s comedy routine with Giuliani seemed strangely familiar, it’s because he used a slightly different version of it years earlier on yet another God-fearing conservative, Ron Paul. Cohen, playing the part of a gay Austrian fashion commentator named ‘Bruno,’ tricked the congressman from Texas into an interview he believed would be on economics. In the course of the discussion, however, a planned power outage gives Cohen the opportunity to lead Paul into a backroom while the technicians sort out the ‘glitch’. Here, ‘Bruno’ lights some candles and attempts to make a pass at Paul, who immediately storms out of the room with his team. This is what Sacha Baron Cohen calls ‘humor,’ which almost always comes at the expense of flyover country White folk. Nothing hateful about that, right?
After all, according to many left-wing ‘progressives’, it’s perfectly acceptable to attack Republicans, most of whom are closet White supremacists and bigots anyways. Yet how can that logic be supported when the Ku Klux Klan, for example, America’s premier hate group, got much of its original membership straight from the ranks of the Democratic Party? But I digress.
Just days before the Giuliani set up, Cohen had crashed a right-wing event in the state of Washington while posing as a xenophobic country singer, enticing the crowd to sing along to lyrics about former President Barack Obama, national health expert Anthony Fauci, and other assorted “mask wearers” getting injected with the “Wuhan flu.” When it quickly became apparent to the local organizers of the event that they were the target of an elaborate prank, hired security guards accompanying Baron Cohen reportedly refused to let them pull the plug on the performance. Nothing like being the butt end of a joke practically at gunpoint, right?
In another particular scene, Cohen, once again playing the part of Borat, gets himself invited as a special guest at the Pima County Republican Club. In his speech before the members, Cohen begins by requesting that everyone stand for 10 minutes (not 10 seconds, as the emcee had politely requested) to pay respect to some imaginary massacre that he said occurred in his “native Kazakhstan (for the record, Sacha Baron Cohen was born in Israel and resides in Britain).”
The ‘joke’ may have gone over a bit better had the majority of the standing audience not been of senior citizen age when standing for any length of time can be excruciating. Apparently that never dawned on Cohen, however, who even made the group start over when he said someone “made a noise.” Hilarious! So what exactly was Cohen attempting to prove by this puerile prank, and many others like it? Was it that conservative Americans are so naïve that they would obediently stand to commemorate the death of unknown people killed in some foreign massacre because they were asked to? This sort of gut-wrenching ‘humor’ has a funny way of making Cohen the real butt end of his jokes.
The strange comedic timing behind Cohen’s routines
Beyond the comic value of Cohen’s work, which I would rank as less than negligible, the ‘comic timing’ of his attacks on Republicans seems to go beyond mere coincidence.
Consider the previously mentioned ‘prank’ on Ron Paul, which was filmed in early 2008. Was it just coincidence that Cohen attempted to get Paul involved in a very compromising situation at the very same time the House representative from Texas was seeking the Republican nomination for the presidency? Moreover, Paul had authored the 2009 bestselling book entitled, End the Fed, a compassionate argument for terminating America’s complicated relationship with the Federal Reserve System and its “massive role in manipulating money to our economic ruin,” as Paul writes on page one. And who could ever forget the way Paul made former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke squirm under fierce congressional questioning about runaway Fed spending? Clearly, Ron Paul, who was vilified when he was not outright ignored by most media channels, presented a real threat to the establishment, and in that regard it is at least worthy of mentioning that Cohen decided to target such a statesman.
The very same thing could be said about Rudy Giuliani. Here is a major Trump ally being subjected to a Borat stunt in what is arguably the most consequential election cycle in U.S. history. But more importantly, the former mayor of New York City is sitting on a veritable treasure trove of Hunter Biden emails and photographs, which the mainstream media and Big Tech companies are going out of their way to disappear. Once again, incredible comedic timing from Sacha Baron Cohen.
Incidentally, Trump himself in 2003 sat for an interview with Cohen, then in the character of ‘Ali G,’ but the discussion ended very fast.
Asked about the scene, Trump said, “I don’t know what happened. But years ago, you know, he tried to scam me. And I was the only one who said no way. That’s a phony guy. And I don’t find him funny. I don’t know anything about him other than he tried to scam me. He came in as a BBC – British broadcasting anchor.”
Trump concluded, “To me, he was a creep.”
While it is hard to say how many people share Trump’s opinion about the English actor, it would be difficult to argue that Sacha Baron Cohen does not have a big dog in the U.S. political scene. That much was clear during a speech the comedian gave before an assembly of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), where, it should be noted, he did not attempt to make a fool of his hosts by asking them to stand for 10 minutes in commemoration of some fictional Kazakh massacre.
Instead, Cohen spoke on the subject of social media freedoms, but not in some valiant effort to make them greater, as one might expect a public person would desire, but rather to crackdown on free speech.
Here is part of Cohen’s speech, delivered on Nov. 21, 2019:
“I’m speaking up today because I believe that our pluralistic democracies are on a precipice and that the next twelve months, and the role of social media, could be determinant. British voters will go to the polls while online conspiracists promote the despicable theory of “great replacement” that white Christians are being deliberately replaced by Muslim immigrants. Americans will vote for president while trolls and bots perpetuate the disgusting lie of a “Hispanic invasion.” And after years of YouTube videos calling climate change a “hoax,” the United States is on track, a year from now, to formally withdraw from the Paris Accords.”
Cohen labeled all of this as a “sewer of bigotry and vile conspiracy theories that threatens democracy and our planet—this cannot possibly be what the creators of the internet had in mind.”
Whether coincidental or not, Cohen’s calls to “monitor” the internet from those dastardly people on the other side of the political aisle who propagate the wrong ‘conspiracy theories,’ has come to fruition faster than anyone could have imagined, as the New York Post, which suffered a massive censorship operation at the hands of the ‘Silicon Six’ (who Cohen identified as “Zuckerberg at Facebook, Sundar Pichai at Google, at its parent company Alphabet, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Brin’s ex-sister-in-law, Susan Wojcicki at YouTube and Jack Dorsey at Twitter”), could certainly testify to.
So who is Sacha Baron Cohen, and why do his comedy sketches always focus on the same group of individuals – the sworn arch-enemies of liberals, the conservatives – and at the most critical moments in U.S. political history?